Takumi Nakamura of the Albatross Match Racing Team from Japan won the 2008 Knickerbocker Cup and secured an invitation to the Bermuda Gold Cup, a Grade 1 match-racing event that is part of the World Match Racing Tour.
Nakamura, with crew Norio Igea, Nathan Hollerbach and Tetsuya Sasaki, won every Cup match except for one on the first day of racing. Rounding out the top teams was Russian Sergey Musikhin, followed by Australian Keith Swinton and American Chris Van Tol of the Van Tol Match Racing Team.
With Day 4 another windless day on Manhasset Bay and Long Island Sound, the fleet was hard-pressed to finish the final matches. When a southerly finally filled in with just about an hour or so of racing left, the matches were started quickly. With the help of Nakamura and Swinton, competitors were swiftly dispensed. It was Nakamura over Musikhin (2-0) and Swinton over Van Tol (2-0).
Nakamura is a team to watch. They came to the Knickerbocker Cup with a crew that had not sailed together before and won every match except one, which was against Van Tol, last year’s Cup champion. Commodore Robbie Lager remarked that the Albatross Match Racing Team “won several Grade 4 events, went on to a second place in a Grade 3 event and now have won a Grade 2 event. Hopefully, this is the beginning of being launched to be first in a Grade 1 event.” www.kyc.net